Peaches DJ Extravaganza at the Summit Music Hall
Most DJ nights that I’ve attended don’t involve watching the stage for revealing burlesque dance routines centered around matadors, werewolves, and unicorn intercourse. The DJ often stands behind the altar of the glowing, white Apple emblem while the audience finds itself gyrating to a mix of house/dubstep/electro. Peaches turned that expectation on its head Saturday night at Summit Music Hall, where the sound system is rife for DJs to exploit chest jarring bass. Partly an unspoken LGBT party and partly a house music DJ event, this show was exactly what I was expecting from an artist known for her ability to create music for the masses (“Fuck the Pain Away”) and ignite the passions of the queer community (a track calling for the liberation of Pussy Riot, complete with crocheted balaclava).
To start the night, I saw local DJ Narky Stares, Lauren Zwick, a DJ who “played the hits” as a nod to inclusiveness, but who also mixed them with enough great beats so as to avoid the dreaded iPod DJ title. She also has a side project called Damn Gurl, which aims to include other local DJs with an LGBT sensibility. To illustrate how wide of an appeal the night had, I ran into the following guy wearing a shirt of a band whose sole member, to put it nicely, wouldn’t attend a show with such an aim as this one.
Having gotten there at the beginning of the show, I was able to catch the opening act, but as acts changed and I moved around the venue, I wasn’t able to tell who was playing what without looking at the stage and squinting past the glow of a Macbook. The music flowed well enough that it didn’t really matter who precisely was making the music, just that it kept coming and was loud. Boyhollow, the impresario behind THE grassroots dance party in Denver, Lipgloss, took the stage before Peaches. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much about the variations of dance, house, dubstep, etc. but I feel that he has a unique talent for blending genres and having people dance despite not knowing the songs. The real treat of the night, of course, was Peaches. And her two burlesque companions.
Her ability to clear several octaves whilst singing and emerge from behind the DJ stand set her apart from the rest of the performers. While I was expecting her to perform strictly as a DJ, she presented herself as a wily MC, standing on the mixing table, gyrating alongside her burlesque performers, wearing a sweater made of variously sized fabric breasts, and generally being herself. I really understood how broad her musical influences are and how she engages with the audience when she broke out a relatively unadulterated version of “Angel of Death” by Slayer. As I was listening to one of the most iconic metal songs, I flashed back a couple hours to my conversation with the the Burzum (Tolkien for “darkness”) fan, where we both agreed that a show such as this can draw a diverse crowd based on the intensity the music being played.
Photos and review by Kerry Nordstrom. Show on 10/13/12.